Natural gas futures stayed lower on Thursday, despite data showing that supplies in storage rose less than forecast last week.
Front-month U.S. natural gas futures inched down 2.8 cents, to $2.802 per million British thermal units (btu) by 10:45AM ET.
Futures were at around $2.824 prior to the release of the supply data. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report
that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 51 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the week ended July 6, below forecasts for a gain of 55 bcf.
That compared with a build of 78 bcf in the preceding week, an increase of 57 bcf a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 77 bcf.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.203 trillion cubic feet (tcf), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
That figure is 725 bcf, or around 24.7%, lower than levels at this time a year ago, and 519 bcf, or
roughly 19.0%, below the five-year average for this time of year.